Silence U Part 2: Indoctrination At Yale, and Beyond

A new, intensely short documentary about the cultural rot underway at Yale (but not only at Yale) is worth viewing, if you have a firm grip on your skull. Yale, is, of course, the source of many U.S. leaders and opinion-makers, including Supreme Court justices and recent Presidents. As one can see from the video, it is either indoctrinating the young minds in its charge in oppressive, anti-speech and liberty ideology, or, to give a large benefit of the doubt, failing to disabuse students of toxic and anti-democratic ideas that the educational system has also seeded.

Needless to say, but I’ll say it anyway, Yale is an elite institution, a role model for others, and supposed to represent the best of higher education. Its students will take their place among the intellectual and economic elite. Nobody who has been paying attention to the logical and legal contortions being used by the supporters of “the resistance” should be surprised that our most promising students are being trained to reason like this. The question is: does it make sense for a nation to actively support an educational system that appears to have become dedicated to undermining the basic values its founding was based upon?

The former-Provost of Stanford University, John Etchemendy, recently gave a speech he called “The Threat From Within” in which he said in part.

Over the years, I have watched a growing intolerance at universities in this country – not intolerance along racial or ethnic or gender lines – there, we have made laudable progress. Rather, a kind of intellectual intolerance, a political one-sidedness, that is the antithesis of what universities should stand for. . . . We need to encourage real diversity of thought in the professoriate, and that will be even harder to achieve. It is hard for anyone to acknowledge high-quality work when that work is at odds, perhaps opposed, to one’s own deeply held beliefs. But we all need worthy opponents to challenge us in our search for truth. It is absolutely essential to the quality of our enterprise.

The problem bites when a particular ideological sect gains power, and meticulously and systematically sets out to make diversity of thought inaccessible. Professors and scholars inhospitable to progressive cant are becoming extinct on college campuses, by design, just as they are an endangered species in newsrooms and Hollywood. Over at the increasingly had-left legal website “Above the Law”—you know, the one that kept erasing my e-mail alert requests every time Ethics Alarms criticized the site; the one that employs Ellie Mystal, a black lawyer who has advocated that black jurors refuse to convict black defendants—writer Joe Patrice  mocked the concept of advocacy for “viewpoint diversity” as argued in this letter from a group of law professors:

February 24, 2017

To the Executive Committee, Association of American Law Schools,

There is growing awareness that conservative and libertarian scholars are grossly underrepresented in American colleges and universities and that this imbalance results from political discrimination. For several years now a number of legal scholars have asked the AALS to support the commitment to viewpoint diversity stated in its by-laws. Some officers have taken our concerns seriously. Immediate Past President Kellye Testy was most cordial to us, as were her immediate predecessors, Dan Rodriguez and Blake Morant. I have spoken briefly to the new President, Paul Marcus, and I hope that he will do likewise.

Judith Areen, the Executive Director of the AALS, seems also to take us seriously. She has alerted program organizers to the need for viewpoint diversity. This may explain why a few of us were invited to participate in AALS programs this year. Several people tell me that panels at this year’s Annual Meeting seemed to be better balanced than in the past. In 2016 I was invited to serve on the AALS Program Committee. Other members of that committee seemed receptive to greater ideological diversity in the Association’s special programs.

Unfortunately, these developments seem to constitute the sum total of progress for viewpoint diversity.

The Executive Committee met with Randy Barnett, Brian Fitzpatrick, Jim Lindgren, Amy Wax, and me during the 2016 Annual Meeting. At this meeting we urged, inter alia, the creation of a Political Diversity Task Force on viewpoint diversity similar to the Racial Diversity Task Force created in 1999 or the three task forces created to deal with issues of globalization. We also asked that viewpoint diversity be made a regular element of the sabbatical reviews for member schools, and that scholars be afforded access to the Faculty Appointments Register (“FAR”) for research, subject to strong protections for confidentiality of information about registrants.

In February, 2016 a letter was sent on behalf of the EC stating that no access would be granted to the FAR or even to the data obtained by Professors Albert Yoon and Tracey George when they were granted access to the FAR in 2007. The letter said that the EC had formed a subcommittee to study access to the FAR. A year later, we have not heard that any action has been taken.

In February, 2016 we also received a letter from President Testy saying that she had appointed a subcommittee of the EC to begin assessing practices and processes to see if changes were needed to meet the goals of the AALS. However, so far as we know, no task force was created and no steps were taken to make viewpoint diversity a regular part of sabbatical reviews. Indeed, so far as we know, the EC took no further action whatsoever in response to our concerns.

We fear that the Executive Committee does not take our concerns seriously and intends to take no action to address them. We urge the EC to alter this attitude. Both scholarship and teaching suffer when law schools are echo chambers in which only one side of current debates is given a voice. Should the EC decide to tackle the issues we raise, we will be pleased to cooperate with you in any way we can.


  • George W. Dent, Jr.
  • Jonathan H. Adler
  • Randy E. Barnett
  • Josh Blackman
  • Gerard Bradley
  • Robert Cooter
  • Richard Duncan
  • Scott FitzGibbon
  • Brian T. Fitzpatrick
  • Elizabeth Price Foley
  • Gail Heriot
  • James Lindgren
  • John McGinnis
  • Gregory S. McNeal
  • Nadia Medzel
  • Seth Oranburg
  • James Phillips
  • Cassandra B. Robertson
  • Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz
  • Ilya Somin
  • Lee Strang
  • Eugene Volokh
  • Kevin Walsh
  • Lynn Wardle
  • Steven Ware
  • Amy L. Wax
  • Steven Willis
  • Todd J. Zywicki

Patrice’s argument is perfect, almost a satire of the kind of thinking displayed by the students in the video.  He calls the plea for intellectual diversity “kinda racist” because it misappropriates the term “diversity” for non racial purposes. His rant provides a good test of how stupid bias has made someone: if you think this Orwellian position is a valid argument, you have been absorbed:

[B]eing a conservative is not to be the victim of systemic and unwarranted discrimination….To put it more bluntly: you’re literally getting judged on content, and not the color of your skin, or your sex, or gender identification, or religion, or national origin. Sorry, the Dr. King test has spoken.

But you’ve nonetheless appropriated the rubric of diversity and clumsily appended it to your, frankly, whiny snowflake complaints about law schools not appreciating your work. See how that is prima facie demeaning to victims of racial, sexual, or any other form of discrimination based on some immutable characteristic? Because as it is, this looks like you woke up one day and said “hey, that Latina benefitted from this ‘diversity’ thing, so we should get some of that too?”


See, Joe, the mission of colleges and universities is education in critical thinking and the tools to engage in it, not ethnic, racial and gender quotas. When academics and scholars are “judged” by those hostile to their ideas according to pre-programmed lock-step ideologies, that is just as much a biased-poisoned judgment as a racist admissions system rejecting a qualified black student because of his race (or rejecting a qualified Asian student so a less qualified black student can take her place,) But a racially-biased admission decision only affects its victim. Ideologically biased selection of faculty and courses adversely affects all the students, the culture, society and the nation.

Patrice’s logic boils down to “I don’t like conservatives, so I agree that and their ideas they should be excluded from higher education: they are being excluded on merit, bases on content, content I and  those in power in places like Yale don’t approve of, for good reason: their ideas are wrong. We know.” Does it occur to him that we don’t have a true marketplaces of ideas when the market is restricted to the ideas the a small and powerful group of sellers want its customers to buy? Of course not, since Joe,. being a True Believer. would never dream of buying the excluded “products.” To Joe, and Yale, and hundreds of other school, allowing conservative ideas and concepts into the “market” is like letting venders sell spoiled meat.

As the video above shows,  spoiled meat of a different sort is what student are being force fed at Yale.

23 thoughts on “Silence U Part 2: Indoctrination At Yale, and Beyond

  1. Yoikes!

    After cringing through that, more should be made about those pushing back, and in an odd twist of fate, some of them are in the employ of my Alma Mater (UW/Madison) in The 77 Square Miles Surrounded By A Sea Of Reality.

    Professors Downs (author: “Restoring Free Speech and Liberty on Campus”), Sharpless, & Anderson, bravely took an unpopular and potentially career-suffocating position by fighting back against a directive that would have applied a hempen homespun tourniquet ever more tightly on “unpopular speech.”

    Professor Will Hansen (with whom I’m honored to be acquainted), stuck his neck out by claiming that promoting that academic Holy Grail (ideologically untouchable “diversity”) should be secondary to, you know, like, the actual teaching and learning aspects of Higher Education.

  2. These students should ask themselves what exactly do they have after getting a degree from a university like Yale. Certainly critical thinking skills are totally absent. I’m waiting for Yale to publish a list of banned books that professors must not use in their classes. Academic freedom is a dead letter.

    • A very expensive piece of paper and membership in a very exclusive club with access to a lot of places non-Ivy Leaguers simply can’t go. However, they go to those places with lots of knowledge of condoms (don’t leave home without it), homosexuality (a special state of blessedness), and abortion (on demand), but very little of whatever their degree is in.

  3. There was an old Polish-German Communist named Rosa Luxemburg who became kind of famous in Marxist circles for saying, “Freedom is always the freedom of the one who thinks differently.” For many years, I thought of that in a “well, ain’t that profound” sort of way, as illustrative of the narrowness of Marxist thought, but now I’m starting to think that she was on to something: that in comparison to all the other diversities that people might assert, diversity of thought is the only true one and all the rest are charades.

  4. I enjoyed the video. It was good to actually see a display of the maturity and intellectual prowess of the students who are the future elite of our nation. I would be willing to bet there were few if any Yale engineering students at the demonstration. They were all off studying things like partial differential equations and thermodynamics in order to become competent professionals. Going into a field where there are standards and everything can be verified by math doesn’t leave much time to be perpetually offended and is just plain hard. It’s not fair.

    The engineers should follow the lead of the Yale students who petitioned to remove the old white guys like Shakespeare, Donne, Chaucer and Milton from the English curriculum. Who needs ’em? Just imagine, if the engineers can get rid of Newton, Nernst, Carnot, Euler, and a few others of that ilk, then they’ll have time to be offended and participate in all the dancing, protests, and parties too. Come to think of it, the medical school may be ripe for a few changes.

  5. Is it becoming more and more evident that our colleges are beyond the tipping point where they’re really no longer shifting but now it’s more that they have shifted from being predominately institutes of higher learning producing genuine critically thinking future leaders to being predominately the mental equivalent of social indoctrination camps where everyone must think the same?

    • Additionally: Knowledge that can contradict “popular” ideology is literally the enemy of that ideology; destroy the knowledge by not allowing any references to the knowledge and suppressing all those that contradict the ideology and eventually the ideology wins by default.

      If these snowflakes have anything to say about it, “free speech” that contradicts the thoughts of the “popular majority” is on it’s way out.

      Does anyone wonder how these idiots are going to react if they get their wish and their speech becomes unpopular?

      • Watch it there Mister! Yer on the outside looking in.

        The UW-Madison has 25 “protected groups” listed in the Chancellor’s 2016 diversity program guidelines, none of which appears to include foreign-named orators with scary, piercing eyes.


        “Diversity” is the new endgame, and has required a “shift” in its very definition.

        From Dr. W. Lee Hansen (Professor Emeritus/UW-Madison)
        ”For many years, diversity has referred to efforts to increase the campus representation of ‘targeted’ minorities, meaning African Americans, American Indians, Hispanic/ Latinos and South East Asians.

        “But in the last decade campus leaders have given the word an entirely new and expanded meaning. It refers to an ever-growing list of ‘differences’ among groups of students that are ‘protected’ under current diversity plans and programs.”

        Those “differences” categorically exclude thought, speech, and action that aren’t ideologically certified or have been “culturally appropriated.”

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